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Thumb suckers???

My 14 month old girl has been sucking her thumb since the womb! She took a pacifier for a few months then just decided one day she didn't like and took to her thumb again. And its getting worse. She used to only do it when she was sleepy. She walks around doing it all the time now. I've tried to distract her, put nasty tasting things on her thumb. Nothing works. I've read websites that say to wait til they are atleast 4 or 5 years old. Won't it be harder by then?!

 
seraphinalynn

Asked by seraphinalynn at 6:58 PM on Oct. 22, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (6)
  • My 15-month-old sucks her thumb to go to sleep or any time she has her blankie (only the one she's attached to). I worry that it's going to mess up her teeth since my younger sister sucked her thumb at bed time until she was 12! (Yes, awful, I know. She got used to the taste of the stuff they use to make kids stop and she'd just suck it off.) I worry more about her teeth growing in weird more than anything. The pediatrician isn't concerned though and they recommend me to take her to a dentist at 2 or 3 years so I'll wait until then to start worrying too much. I'd say you're safe to do the same.
    MommyHess

    Answer by MommyHess at 11:45 PM on Oct. 22, 2009

  • My son is a hard-core thumbsucker as well. he just started preschool (at 2 1/2) and it makes his teacher nuts. Our pediatrician said to not worry about it until 5. It's clearly a comfort thing. When my son is someplace where he's comfortable and engaged, he doesn't suck it. When he's unsure of himself, it's glued into his mouth. I think most kids outgrow it without much battle as peer pressure kicks in and they don't need comfort mechanisms quite so much. I'm not planning on worrying about it for another couple of years.
    momofryan07

    Answer by momofryan07 at 7:06 PM on Oct. 22, 2009

  • My brother sucked his thumb until he was 6 and got caught by a school mate. My mom tried to get him to stop, but he wouldn't. It was a security thing.
    07upsydaisy

    Answer by 07upsydaisy at 7:12 PM on Oct. 22, 2009

  • nope, its not harder to convey to an older child that they need to stop. trying to take something away from a baby that makes them feel happy, safe, content... its just not reasonable to think that they would understand why.
    my son is a thumb sucker, and has been since the womb (totally cute ultrasound pix!), he is 4 1/2, and still sucks his thumb, but he is only allowed to at bed time.
    we've slowly broken him of it over the past 6 months, and its going well, since he is old enough to be reasonable, and understands that it is a comfort that he can only have when it is time for sleep. he would sleep with his thumb in his mouth if i would let him, but once he is asleep, i pluck it out.
    they also tend to suck their thumbs a lot more when they are teething- feels good to them, its natures teething ring! i should know, i just cut my wisdom teeth, and i wanted to chew on everything! lol
    ObbyDobbie

    Answer by ObbyDobbie at 7:42 PM on Oct. 22, 2009

  • No, it will be easier when they've developed other coping mechanisms, like talking about it and expressing their feelings about why they are stressed. If you stop it, she will only do something else. It's OK for now.
    doodlebopfan

    Answer by doodlebopfan at 10:56 PM on Oct. 22, 2009

  • My son sucked his thumb until he was 8. It became a habit. My dh & I would make him sit on his hand when we caught him sucking it. We did this for too many years. It was frustrating. Good luck.
    dustbunny

    Answer by dustbunny at 11:31 PM on Oct. 22, 2009

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